When my daughter, Laura, was a little girl, she, like all kids her age, tried different sports to find which was her true fit. First, she went out for baseball. That wasn’t a match as many times, you could find her crouched on the ground doodling in the dirt. In fact, except for the pitcher, catcher, and other key players, you would see many of her teammates doing the same thing. And because she and her compatriots were totally unaware of what was happening around them, her daddy affectionately named them “The Barbies.”
Next was soccer which came to be known in our household, as “swarm ball.” Even though each child played a certain position and was supposed to man that area, it seems that no matter where the ball was on the field, defense or offense, everyone was right there with it. Scrambling around it like chickens attacking the feed when first put in the coup, all those little girls moving as one, were kicking and scrambling to get their foot on the ball. To get that much prized goal.
This past Sunday, my pastor began preaching a series on Genesis. Pointing out in the beginning, there was nothing—not even space—just darkness, it was crucial to him to lay the foundation that the Bible is about God. It’s His story. He was here before anything was, (Isn’t that impossible to wrap your head around), and will be when we leave this world behind. And because that is true, our lives in the here and now should be focused on Him. The point: Only those things that will last throughout eternity should be what we spend our precious time on.
I hate to say it, but that’s not what most of us do. To harness that more closely to home, that’s not what I do. Distracted and mesmerized by wanting to be part of the “in” crowd, I am drawn to the latest and greatest like a little girl is to the real or fake diamonds in her mom’s jewelry box. From following the current how tos (and I am groaning out loud)—of being hooked into buying the greatest wrinkle-be-gone miracle cream, the bathing suit that hides sagging parts and too many pieces of cheesecake, to the endless list of how to do anything in life better—I find what’s popular, is pulling me this way and that; what I spend my life on, suspiciously resembles those early soccer days of swarm ball.
Now, I may not spend beaucoups of cash on jeans with holes ripped across the thighs and knees that let in, at this time of the year, the freezing cold, but in other areas of my life I am right there with everyone else, hiking around in one way or another, in the emperor’s new clothes. If I were to really look at myself in the mirror, I would have to ask, “What in the world are you doing?
Don’t misunderstand me. In and of itself, having fun, trying to better ourselves, or being creative in any area of our lives—none of that is wrong—but it’s the attitude of our heart that counts.
About three months ago, I felt the Lord nudging and gently shaking me out of a complacent drowsiness, impressing on my heart, “Wake up!” What I began to see was that I was happily comfortable in my carefully carved out niche. Surrounded by people that felt, thought, and acted the same way I do, I was missing out on one of the greatest purposes, the most fulfilling privilege ever given to mankind:
That of bringing Jesus to someone who may or may not know Him. Not necessarily Bible thumping, but listening to God’s directives, my heart should be ready to act, to live, and speak the Truth in love. In short, making everything I do be about Him. Wanting my heart’s intent to be that of pointing someone to the grace found only in Yeshua Messiah. Meeting them where they are, that’s what Jesus did for Zacchaeus, the tax collector, Peter and Andrew, the fishermen. That’s what He did for me. And everyone. Why shouldn’t we expect to do the same.
Laura did finally find her niche in swimming. Loving to do it no matter where we lived—snowy Massachusetts, Northern California, inside-outside, heated pool or not—she gave it her all.
“Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord and not to man.” Colossians 3:17
So go out there. Wear the craziest fads. Organize your home ‘par excellence.’ Simplify your lifestyle. Slather on the lotions and creams, but do it all with a heart looking to Jesus. It will change how you think. It will transform the way you are.
In heaven, no one will care about the way you look.
The truth is, we will just be glad we’re there.